Town unites to help refugees

Support...Julia Thompson at Archway House with some of the donations at the collection point for Market Harborough helping refugees,'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Support...Julia Thompson at Archway House with some of the donations at the collection point for Market Harborough helping refugees,'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

When the body of three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi was washed up on a beach in Turkey, Harborough businesswoman Paula Alexander wasn’t alone in shedding a tear.

But Paula, who herself has children aged three and one, decided that she needed to do more than cry at the photograph .

“As a parent, that image hit me particularly hard. What if that had been my child? And why were we born so fortunate?” she asked.

“I realised that I couldn’t keep crying for children like Aylan without also doing something constructive to help.”

The result was ‘Market Harborough Helps Refugees’, a new initiative set up to collect donations of essential aid to deliver to refugees in makeshift camps in Calais, France.

‘Market Harborough Helps Refugees’ is linking with CalAid, a charitable organisation already supporting displaced people in Calais refugee camps.

CalAid has issued a list of the most needed items for donation, which can be found on the ‘Market Harborough Helps Refugees’ Facebook page : www.facebook.com/MarketHarboroughhelpingrefugees

The donations can be dropped off at Archway House Natural Health Centre, between Market Harborough and Lubenham, from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, and on Saturday between 9am and 12pm. Alternatively, you can buy items online.

Paula, formerly a chief executive in the voluntary sector, said: “The support we have received already has been fantastic. The British public is hugely sympathetic to this cause, and people really want to help. We know we’re incredibly lucky to live in an area like Harborough, and we know that even the smallest donation can make a difference.”

CalAid supports displaced people in Calais refugee camps. Find out more at www. calaid.co.uk